Annual Report: Palestinian Authority 2010

May 28, 2010

Annual Report: Palestinian Authority 2010

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  • Haitham Amr, a nurse, was arrested at his home near Hebron on 11 June by members of the PA's General Intelligence Service; his death was announced four days later. His body had extensive and severe bruising and the Minister of the Interior later acknowledged that he had been tortured in detention. In an unusual move, the PA opened a military trial against the officers accused of involvement in his death.

In Gaza, at least four men died in the custody of Hamas security forces; three of them were alleged to have been tortured.

  • Zayad Ayash Jaradat, a resident of Rafah, died in March while in the custody of Hamas police in the Gaza Strip after being detained under criminal charges. He was alleged to have died as a result of beatings by the police. The Ministry of the Interior dismissed 11 police officers, who were detained and expected to be brought to trial before a military court.

Freedom of expression

The Palestinian authorities in both the West Bank and Gaza curtailed media freedom and took action against media and journalists who criticized them.

In January in the West Bank, PA security forces detained and threatened journalists who reported the violent suppression of demonstrators protesting against the Israeli attack on Gaza. Throughout the year the security forces arrested and harassed media workers of al-Aqsa and al-Quds satellite channels, media outlets seen as aligned with Hamas. In July, the PA government ordered al-Jazeera to suspend its operations, but was quickly forced to retract this by a public outcry.

  • Khaled Amayreh was arrested and detained without charge for three days in January by the PA's Preventative Security Agency in Hebron. He was interrogated about an interview with al-Quds TV in which he had criticized the PA's response to the Israeli attack on Gaza.

In Gaza on 14 August, the Hamas Ministry of the Interior banned journalists from accessing Rafah during fighting between the Hamas security forces and Jund Ansar Allah. In November, Hamas prevented a meeting of journalists organized by the International Federation of Journalists from taking place.

  • Sari al-Qudweh, editor of al-Sabah newspaper, was detained by the Hamas de facto administration in Gaza in June. Hamas security officers also searched his home and closed the newspaper's offices. Sari al- Qudweh was released on 19 August.

Violence against women and girls

Five women and a 16-year-old girl were reported to have been victims of so-called honour killings, most carried out by male relatives. Perpetrators of such killings, when tried and convicted, generally receive inappropriately lenient sentences, often being imprisoned for less than three years.

  • On 23 July, Fadia Jawdat al-Najjar, a divorced mother of five, was killed in Gaza. Her father, Jawdat al-Najjar, handed himself in to the police on 24 July and confessed to beating his daughter to death. He was charged with her murder and at the end of 2009 was awaiting trial.

Death penalty

Courts in the West Bank and Gaza continued to sentence people to death, particularly for murder and "collaboration", although no executions were carried out. In the West Bank, PA military courts handed down three death sentences for alleged "collaboration" and treason; in Gaza, Hamas military courts sentenced 14 people to death on charges of "collaboration", treason and murder.

Amnesty International visits/reports

Amnesty International delegates visited the West Bank and Gaza Strip in January, February, June, July, October and November.

Palestinian Authority: Hamas' deadly campaign in the shadow of the war in Gaza (10 February 2009)
Israel/Gaza: Operation "Cast Lead" - 22 Days of Death and Destruction (2 July 2009)
Troubled waters - Palestinians denied fair access to water MDE 15/027/2009